The New York Jets are not looking to trade star Le'Veon Bell, according to general manager Joe Douglas.

Bell signed a four-year, $52.2million deal to join the Jets following a contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers, however, he struggled to make an impact in New York.

The three-time NFL Pro Bowler has been the subject of trade speculation, though Douglas attempted to play down the rumours on Tuesday.

"There hasn't been talk as far as him going anywhere," said Douglas, who revealed the Jets want to sign All-Pro safety Jamal Adams to a contract extension. "We're excited about Le'Veon.

"Le'Veon has been a great team-mate. I can't tell you how great he's been ... We're excited to have him."

Bell rushed for just 789 yards and three touchdowns as the Jets finished 7-9 for the season.

"I wouldn't say his play declined," Douglas said. "His numbers probably aren't where he would want them to be. I think we need to do a better job of opening holes for him.

"We need to put him in a good position to be as productive as he was in Pittsburgh."

Jets head coach Adam Gase and his relationship with Bell has been talked about, with the former previously refusing to say he wants the running back in 2020.

On Tuesday, Gase said: "He's been great for us. He's done everything I've asked him to do. He tried to do things the right way. What anybody else says, I think we're to the point where we really don't care. As long as our relationship is good, we're good."

New York Jets head coach Adam Gase refused to say he wants star recruit Le'Veon Bell back in 2020, sparking doubts over the running back's future.

Bell signed a four-year, $52.2million deal to join the Jets following a contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers, however, he struggled to make an impact in New York.

The three-time NFL Pro Bowler rushed for just 789 yards and three touchdowns as the Jets finished 7-9 for the season.

Amid speculation Bell could be traded, Gase added fuel to the fire during Monday's news conference.

"He's under contract for three more years," Gase told reporters when asked if he wants to work with Bell again next season.

"You can ask [general manager] Joe [Douglas] tomorrow. I'm not in charge of personnel."

Bell did not seem enthused by Gase's comments, using a gif from popular TV show 'The Office' to respond via Twitter.

Gase, however, did reveal he has already talked with Bell about how he can improve in 2020 after an underwhelming first season with the Jets.

"We talked about look at some of the stuff they did in Pittsburgh and talking through some of the things he's comfortable with in the run game -- especially early in the offseason and trying to focus on those types of runs and pass game," Gase said.

 

New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell does not regret leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers ahead of the star's reunion with his former team.

Sunday will see three-time Pro Bowler Bell face the Steelers for the first time since switching to the Jets in March.

Bell signed a four-year, $52.2million deal with the Jets following a contract dispute in Pittsburgh, where he spent his first five seasons in the NFL.

Ahead of the reunion at MetLife Stadium, Bell said on Thursday: "I'm happy where I'm at. The way things are going, obviously it's not ideal with the way our record is.

"But like I said in Week 2, Week 3, this is kind of like rebuilding. I want to be a part of it and see it grow."

"Last year was last year and two years ago was two years ago," he added. "I'm over it now. I'm past it. I'm here. I'm with the New York Jets, and I'm happy."

Despite it being a Jets (5-9) home game on Sunday, Bell is braced for Steelers (8-6) fans to boo him.

"It'll probably be 50-50," Bell told reporters. "I think half will be happy to see me and still love me, and half that hates me, despises me. It is what it is.

"I'm going to show love, regardless. Anybody who's wearing my jersey, I'll go sign it. It's going to be fun."

Bell continued: "It's going to be packed with Steeler fans. When we played the [Oakland] Raiders, there were a lot of Raider fans and it was loud. I think it'll be the same as that, if not more. Steeler fans travel well. I definitely know that."

 

Le'Veon Bell has suffered no structural damage to his injured leg, handing the New York Jets a much-needed boost.

Head coach Adam Gase revealed the star running back should be fit enough to face crosstown rivals the New York Giants on Sunday.

Bell missed practice on Wednesday as planned due to the problem, but Gase explained the MRI he underwent on his knee and ankle came back with good results.

The three-time All-Pro selection required medical attention in the aftermath of the Jets' painful 26-18 defeat to the previously winless Miami Dolphins last week, where he rushed for 66 yards from 17 attempts and added eight catches for 55 yards.

"It was nothing structural or anything like that on the MRI," Gase said. "He is pretty sore, he kind of took a weird hit late in the game and it didn't really hit him until almost a day later. He didn't say anything after the game, it was not until Monday morning when he was real sore.

"He was trying to practise [Wednesday], we were discouraging that and we thought it would not be the right thing to do. He finally [agreed] he should probably stay inside. I think he's going to be all right, he is just really sore right now."

Major free agency acquisition Bell is yet to have the desired impact for a Jets team who have sunk to 1-7 for the season.

Having signed a four-year, $52.5 million deal after sitting out 2018 amid a contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bell has totalled 415 rushing yards in eight starts with one touchdown at a career-low average of 3.3. He has added 242 receiving yards and a further score.

The Jets' upcoming opponents are also enduring a 2019 campaign that is falling well short of expectations, with the Giants holding a 2-7 record.

Tuesday's NFL trade deadline brought little action.

We dive into the details of the deals that did go down as well as several notable roster moves around the league in this edition of NFL news and notes.

 

Three things that matter

Williams reports to Redskins

The Washington Redskins were reportedly open to trading disgruntled offensive tackle Trent Williams ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline, but the team's high asking price left few suitors and he opted to end his holdout instead.

Williams was dissatisfied with how the Redskins' medical staff handled a growth found on his head earlier in the offseason, though he appears to be ready to make amends so he can get back on the football field.

The 31-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2021 after he finishes out the final frame of his five-year contract worth $68million.

Rams deal Talib, draft pick to Dolphins

The Los Angeles Rams are sending veteran cornerback Aqib Talib and a draft pick to the Miami Dolphins for a future pick. The Rams will save about $4.2m by moving him.

Talib is the second big-name cornerback to be dealt by the Rams this season after Marcus Peters was sent to the Baltimore Ravens earlier this month.

Talib has been dealing with a rib injury and was recently placed on injured reserve, though he will be eligible to return Week 15. He initially suffered the injury during an October 3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Conner likely to be limited by shoulder injury

Star running back James Conner was injured late in Monday's win over the Dolphins and left Heinz Field with his right arm in a sling. The Pittsburgh Steelers have yet to announce an update on his status or his availability for Week 9 against the Indianapolis Colts.

"It's in the process of being evaluated right now as we speak, so I don't have a lot of information," head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters. "One thing's for sure, it's going to limit him, surely at the early portions of the week.

"James has played enough ball, started to get comfortable with him. [It] doesn't require a complete week of work and effort for him to play like it does some younger players. So we'll play it by ear. We'll check his availability on a day-to-day basis and let that be our guide in terms of his availability."

Fellow rusher Benny Snell was also injured Monday and is in jeopardy of missing time with a knee injury.

Two things that don't matter

Bengals bench Dalton amid 0-8 season

The winless Cincinnati Bengals will have a new starting quarterback coming out of their bye week, as first-year coach Zac Taylor has decided to pull veteran Andy Dalton for rookie Ryan Finley. Dalton had previously started every Bengals game for which he has been healthy since Week 1 of his rookie season in 2011.

The 24-year-old Finley was a fourth-round pick out of NC State in April and completed 73.4 per cent of his passes in three games during the preseason with three touchdowns and an interception. He has yet to see action in the regular season.

Falcons release Bryant... again

The veteran kicker missed two field goals beyond the 50-yard line during Sunday's loss to the Seahawks. The Atlanta Falcons announced they have agreed to terms with Younghoe Koo in a corresponding move.

Matt Bryant previously had a stint with the Falcons from 2009 to 2018 before being released in February, though the team re-signed him in August. The 44-year-old sits 13th on the NFL's all-time scoring list with 1,758 points and was 9 of 14 on field-goal attempts this season.

One video you have to see

DeAndre Hopkins is an early contender for best costume in the league.

Tuesday's tweet of the day

Le'Veon Bell kept things light ahead of the NFL trade deadline despite reports suggesting the New York Jets were open to offers for the running back.

Trades were all the talk around the NFL on Tuesday.

We look at those transactions and more in this edition of NFL news and notes.

 

Three things that matter

Broncos trade Sanders to 49ers

It was reported that the Denver Broncos dealt two-time Pro-Bowl wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders tand a fifth-round pick to the San Francisco 49ers, with NFL Media noting the latter were in on Mohamed Sanu before he went to the New England Patriots. In return, the Broncos received third- and fourth-round picks in 2020 from the Niners.

Sanders, who should welcome the change of scenery joining a playoff contender, has 565 catches for 7,391 and 39 touchdowns over 134 career games with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Broncos.

Patriots acquire Sanu from Falcons

Super Bowl champions New England acquired the wide receiver from the Atlanta Falcons for a second-round pick. Sanu farewelled the Falcons and their fans on Twitter.

Sanu played at Rutgers with the McCourty brothers and Patriots assistant Steve Belichick before being drafted in 2012 by the Cincinnati Bengals, where he remained until he signed with Atlanta in 2016. He has 33 catches for 313 yards and a touchdown this season.

Hall of Fame cornerback Brown dies aged 78

No cause of death has been made public, but support has been overflowing on social media.

Willie Brown will be best remembered on the field for his interception of the Minnesota Vikings' Fran Tarkenton in Super Bowl 11 in 1977 that became an iconic moment in the game's history.

He later served as a defensive backfield coach for the Oakland Raiders from 1979 to 1988 and also was the head coach at Long Beach State in 1991.

Two things that don't matter

Peterson says he's 'ready to go'

Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson insisted he will play against his former team in Minnesota on Thursday despite an MRI revealing a Grade 1 high ankle sprain and a Grade 2 low ankle sprain. Peterson initially injured his ankle during Sunday's game against the 49ers after fumbling, finishing with 20 carries for 81 yards. 

The 34-year-old, who has a long history of injuries, has rushed for 307 yards and one touchdown on 83 carries in six games this season. 

XFL reveals schedule for 2020 season

The league is set to open play February 8 when the D.C. Defenders visit the Seattle Dragons. The XFL's eight teams, which have been divided into two divisions, will have 10 games from February 8 to April 12 before the playoffs begin later that month and the championship game takes place April 26.

"It's a big moment for us,'' XFL commissioner Oliver Luck said. "We've got great time slots on the weekends. We think it's a well-designed schedule in terms of competitive balance.''

One video you have to see

Dion Jordan looks ready to get to work.

Tuesday's tweet of the day

Le'Veon Bell held nothing back as he bashed the NFL and defended his quarterback on Twitter after Sam Darnold was heard on "Monday Night Football" saying he was "seeing ghosts."

Le'Veon Bell came to the defence of Sam Darnold after the New York Jets quarterback was heard saying he was "seeing ghosts" during their shutout loss to the New England Patriots.

Darnold's remarks were aired during ESPN's broadcast of the 33-0 defeat at MetLife Stadium, for which the quarterback was mic'd up.

He was seen sitting on the bench saying "I'm seeing ghosts" in a game that saw him commit five turnovers.

Running back Bell said the NFL "screwed Sammy over" and that airing a sideline comment like that had never happened to another quarterback.

"The NFL screwed Sammy over ... there's not one player in the NFL who's cool with having every sideline convo broadcasted to millions...there's a reason we've never heard other QBs frustrated on the sideline like that before... that's crazy, @NFL did Sam dirty as hell," Bell wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

According to the New York Daily News , the NFL needs to have an on-site NFL Films representative clear any comments aired. Not only did the representative clear this particular comment from Darnold, but ESPN — which has the right not to use content cleared — also decided to air it on the "Monday Night Football" broadcast.

"We'll be looking into that pretty hard," Jets coach Adam Gase said on Tuesday when asked about the airing of Darnold's comments.

"That was one of those things that was really disappointing to hear about after the game. I don't know if I've ever seen that where somebody that was mic'd up was basically … a comment like that was allowed to be aired. It bothers me. It bothers the organisation. Obviously, we're going to be looking hard into our co-operation going forward."

NFL coaches and quarterbacks have to be mic'd up for one game a season, per NFL Films' deal with teams. Originally, Darnold was going to be mic'd up for the Week 2 game against the Cleveland Browns, but he was ruled out of the contest.

"It's not something's that new," Gase said. "Usually when it's a Monday night game, somebody's usually mic'd up. I know once a year I have to do the same thing. It’s kind of part of the deal.

"Obviously, you're never anticipating something like that happening. The fact that it did just gives us pause to really co-operate anymore. Because I don't know how we can allow our franchise quarterback to be put out there like that."

Sam Darnold believes the New York Jets can be competitive. 

The 22-year-old quarterback has been sidelined with mono and New York have been blown out in both of the games he has missed.

Darnold addressed the team's struggles when he met with reporters on Monday. 

"I think, for me, I'm just going to go in there and control what I can control. Obviously, we need to fix some details at other spots as well, we're not blind to that," Darnold told a news conference.

"It's just about going out there in practice, in the meeting rooms, in walkthrough and not being shy about it either, not being worried about anyone's feelings. It's about getting this stuff right and we're going to get it right. It's just a matter of time.

"We're going to go on a little run here. It's going to be fun, but it's going to take a lot of work. I know a lot of the guys on the team are willing to put in that work."

The Jets will have a bye week before facing the Eagles in Philadelphia on October 6.

Darnold said previously he was hoping to be back on the field for that game. 

"Even if everything was great and we were 3-0, I'd want to be out there helping the team," Darnold said. "For me, as a competitor, I've always wanted to go out there and help my team win, so I'm anxious to do that and get healthy as fast as I can."

Jets running back Le'Veon Bell also expects the team to bounce back from their slow start. 

"It's a team thing, it's not just the quarterback," Bell said on Monday. "Football is a game of three phases. It's offense, defense, and special teams, right?

"Offensively we've got to get better. Regardless of if Sam is in the game or not we've got to protect him. We've still got to make plays on the outside. We've got to just clean up the little things and we'll be fine."

The Jets will enter their matchup against Philadelphia with an 0-3 record.

At the start of every NFL season, each team have the same 0-0 record. Combined with surprise trades, NFL draftees, free agency signings, shocking retirements and injuries, September signals the start of something new for all.

It has happened time again — a dark horse seemingly comes out of nowhere and has made a deep impression on that. Remember the 1988 Cincinnati Bengals that went to the Super Bowl, but were 4-12 the year before?

What about the 2008 Miami Dolphins who made it to the playoffs, even though they won just one game in 2007? Of course, the best example is Kurt Warner and the 1999 St Louis Rams, who won the Super Bowl that year, despite being 4-12 a season earlier.

Many eyes will be focused on the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders this year, especially with the addition of Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. But what other teams have the potential to go from zero to hero?

Here we break down three teams that could surprise us all during the 2019 season.

 

San Francisco 49ers

Starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is back, Jerick McKinnon has also returned, running back Tevin Coleman now is with the team and San Francisco drafted defensive end Nick Bosa with the second overall pick. Not to mention, George Kittle might be the best tight end in the league now the Rob Gronkowski has retired.

A lot of the 49ers' problems in their shoddy 2018 season (which saw them finish 4-12) were because of injuries. Garoppolo tore his anterior cruciate ligament in week three, meaning backups C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullins had to take over for the rest of the year. McKinnon's knee gave him issues all last season and he is still recovering, but the depth with Coleman and Matt Breida gives the Niners more options.

Garoppolo struggled in his first preseason game but was able to step up and help San Francisco defeat the Kansas City Chiefs during its second preseason game. Garoppolo said playing at Arrowhead Stadium, where he tore his ACL last year, helped shake off any apprehension.

"A lot has happened in the year since then," Garoppolo said. "I thought it would be good to go back there just to remember everything that I've gone through."

On the other side of the ball, Bosa will have a helping hand from Dee Ford, who was traded from the Chiefs in the offseason after a 13-sack 2018 campaign.

As long as everyone stays healthy, the 49ers have all the pieces to at least win their division.

New York Jets

A far cry from their Super Bowl victory half a century ago, the Jets finished last season with a 4-12 record. New quarterback Sam Darnold looked like a shaky high schooler starting for the first time, the offense was sluggish and their third-down conversion rate was abysmal (32.24 per cent). 

But things have changed on the offensive side for New York. Running back Le'Veon Bell signed a four-year, $52million deal with the team and has had a quiet and drama-free offseason with the Jets. Bell also seemed to have helped Darnold gain some confidence and has heaped praise on the young quarterback.

"Sam has all the intangibles, he has the mindset. You can see him — he's a competitor. Every day in practice he literally wants to get better. It's hard to ... it's hard to describe someone that's like that because I'm like that," Bell said during the preseason.

"A lot of people go to practice and you're just practicing. They call a play and you run the play. When they call a play for me, I'm trying to work myself and I'm trying to like really get better at it. And I can see that in Sam. When he makes a throw he doesn't really like, I can see that in his face, 'I could've thrown that better.' You've got to love that about him because he literally wants to be perfect. He reminds me a lot of myself in that aspect."

Meanwhile, Ty Montgomery also was signed to a one-year $805,000 contract. Montgomery especially is intriguing, since he can take on the dual role of tailback and receiver. First-year Jets head coach Adam Gase said he was shocked Montgomery had not been claimed off waivers after the Green Bay Packers released him and envisions him being the perfect complement to Bell.

Montgomery later added that he and Bell work well together, making them an efficient and top-notch duo.

"I think we complement each other," Montgomery said. "I'm more of a receiver that's become a back and he's a back that's sort of become a receiver. Us being on the field together, we can line up anywhere. We can do anything. When he comes off, I come on. My mindset, the way I'm wired right now, nothing's going to change, nothing should change. Our offense should be just as efficient."

Indianapolis Colts

No Andrew Luck? No problem. The quarterback's surprise retirement at the age of 29 could have sent other teams into a tailspin, but the Colts have played without Luck before, although that result was not spectacular. In recent seasons, Luck has dealt with various injuries, and Jacoby Brissett has stepped up.

Colts head coach Frank Reich said Indianapolis are in "good hands" with Brissett, even though he has a 4-11 record with the team when starting. 

"You can just feel his presence in the huddle and on the field," Reich said. "The confidence that he's had, the chemistry with his receivers. We all know Andrew and T.Y. [Hilton] had a unique chemistry and connection. I can feel that developing. That's been very important that Jacoby has taken all those reps."

Brissett had been taking the majority of first-team reps during training camp and working with Hilton, Pro Bowl tight ends Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle, and running back Marlon Mack, who nearly had a 1,000-yard season last year, despite missing five games. 

The stage is set for Brissett to succeed. As long as the offensive line — which includes first-round picks Anthony Castonzo, Ryan Kelly and Quenton Nelson — stays strong, Brissett and the Colts still have the chance to claim an AFC South title.

Le'Veon Bell said the Pittsburgh Steelers "had something special and they let it go" as he prepares to get his career with the New York Jets underway.

Bell left the Steelers for NFL rivals the Jets in March, signing a four-year, $52.2million contract following a contract dispute in Pittsburgh.

A three-time Pro Bowler, star running back Bell was originally selected by Pittsburgh out of Michigan State in the second round of the 2013 draft and spent his first five seasons with the team. 

Bell was asked about the situation with the Steelers and the 27-year-old told USA Today: "Even before I got to Pittsburgh, you always got to look somewhere to find that chip on your shoulder for motivation.

"So when I got to Pittsburgh, I used that from the draft. I remember all the teams that passed on me. 'I'm going to make you regret it'. Then I got to Pittsburgh and we had the whole contract thing that happened. It didn't work out in Pittsburgh.

"I'm out of Pittsburgh. And now I'm in a new city, a new team, and a lot of people haven't even given us a chance cause they don't like our roster. They think we don't have the talent.

"I'm thinking I'm going to show everybody. I'm going to show people that, look, Pittsburgh had something special and they let it go. That's what I'm going to go out there and do."

Bell rushed for 35 touchdowns during his time with the Steelers and he added: "I would do everything the same. I wouldn't change a thing."

The Jets fired former head coach Todd Bowles in late December and hired Adam Gase to replace him.

New York quarterback Sam Darnold told reporters he expects the team's offense to be "electric" this season with the additions of Bell and Gase. 

"I think we're going to do some fun things out there with all the tempo and all the different things we can do," Darnold said. "It'll be fun, it will be fun to watch us and hopefully we are going to put up a lot of points."

The Jets will open the regular season against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. 

Le'Veon Bell is not worried about preseason as the New York Jets star eyes week one of the NFL campaign.

Jets head coach Adam Gase announced on Sunday that running back Bell would not make his debut until the team's NFL opener, despite sitting out all of 2018 as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers amid a contract dispute.

Even though Bell has not played in more than a year, the three-time Pro Bowler believes he can return to play at an All-Pro level at the start of the new season.

"I don't think me getting four plays in the preseason is gonna help me in Week 1 for the game," Bell told reporters on Wednesday. "It's gonna be me just getting ready for playing and practice. When the game comes, then I'll be ready."

Bell, 27, signed a four-year, $52.5million deal with New York this offseason. 

"Each and every day I've been getting better, so I think the coaches see it," Bell said. "And they've been putting more reps on me, you know, in practice.

"I try to get a little contact in practice. I think the defensive players do a good job of giving me good contact but not really trying to hurt me or take me to the ground too much."

Bell will be second-year quarterback Sam Darnold's go-to guy this season and looks forward to working with the young signal-caller.

"I hate watching Sam play because I want to be in there with him," Bell said. "I just want to be in there because I know how special he is. ... Just watching him each and every week, he will continue to grow. The ball, it just comes out so crazy. I'm ready to play with him and it'll be fun."

Darnold threw for 2,865 yards, 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his first year as a starter and led the Jets to a 4-12 record.

Meanwhile, Bell has totalled 5,336 yards on the ground and accounted for 42 total touchdowns in five seasons.

Le'Veon Bell will not be on the field until the games count for the New York Jets.

The Jets will hold the 27-year-old running back out for the entire preseason, coach Adam Gase told reporters after the team's Green and White scrimmage on Sunday.

"I was about 99 per cent sure heading into the season, it was all based off how he practised, conditioned, those types of things," Gase said.

"We talked about it before we started. I told him, 'We wanted to increase the reps last week', and we're going to do the same thing this week where we just get him as game-ready as possible because he's not really going to know until we get in a real game."

Bell missed all of 2018 after holding out from the Pittsburgh Steelers over a contract dispute. He then signed a four-year, $52.5million deal with the Jets this offseason.

"I feel like he's in great shape, he's been contacting about as good as anybody on the practice field. I feel confident that he'll be ready to go week one," Gase said.

"He's in a good place right now. The way he's working in practice, the way he's running the ball in practice, I feel really good about him when we hit the regular season."

Bell has rushed for 35 touchdowns and made three Pro Bowls since he was selected by Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2013 draft.

"I want to do whatever coach Gase wants me to do," Bell said after a practice last week, via the team's official website.

"If he asks me to play, I'm going to go out there and play. If he tells me not to, tells me to rest, I'm going to do that ... I'm going to do whatever's best for my team."

The Jets have two preseason games remaining before they host the Buffalo Bills on September 8.

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